Jaren's Blog

April 25, 2010

Your generosity has made my life better, thx.

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 8:29 pm

Today I was blessed to participate in a class, where the instructor taught the value of service.  He began by asking, “What have you done recently to help someone?”  This brought self-reflection and stories which were shared by those attending.  Certainly, we as people are engaged in providing a lot of good deeds; it is obvious.  The question may be whether we are doing all we can or if we fully understand why we serve.

Christians find in the New Testament: Luke 9:24 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”  In these words, Christ is suggesting that unless we lose ourselves in service, there is not much purpose in our lives.  Individuals, who are living solely for their own self-interest, will never experience all life has to offer.  People, who elect to serve, will develop and bloom; they will have unfathomable inner joy.

In the Hymn, “Have I Done Any Good?” the lyrics say:

Have I done any good in the world today?

Have I helped anyone in need?

Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?

If not, I have failed indeed.

Truly, our lending a hand in a time of need, whether a simple smile or a live long venture, will bring us deep inner satisfaction.  When we are down or feeling alone; extending ourselves in the service of others cures our ills.  Inner feelings of discouragement or whatever may be getting us down, are erased immediately, by merely giving our all.  As we give, loads are lightened, friendships built, lesson learned, skills enhanced and love felt.

It doesn’t have to be anything other than simple things.  In your quite times, when your mind drifts to thinking of someone; it isn’t by chance.  This friend on your mind needs you in their life.  While these thoughts are often dismissed as fleeting reflections; they are not.  If you then default to feelings that  they don’t need us; they do.

Follow your heart, whether the impression is toward a perfect stranger or your life partner.  Our sensitivity to the spirit guiding us, will open doors of understanding.  We then are free; we know what we are here on earth for.  We awaken each day with a thirst for life.

Lastly, perhaps the most important; don’t ever take away another’s opportunity to serve.  We will not always be on the giving end of service.  Life presents moments where being the recipient is just as necessary.  For some this may be hard, seeming nearly impossible; it isn’t.  Receive with the same joy you give, your burdens will fade and when you are back on top; you will be a better servant.

Give, receive and live!

Jaren

The decade now drawing to a close has proven to be arguably the worst in American history.

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 3:04 pm

The decade now drawing to a close has proven to be arguably the worst in American history.  Since the 1840’s, for example, only twice has the inflation adjusted American stock market, been negative over a ten-year period.  -.2 percent during the Great Depression era and -.6 (three times that of the Great Depression) during the 2000-09 period!  Since 1950, each decade has recorded a rise in the average net worth of Americans.  Ranging from 12 percent during the sluggish 1970’s to 44 percent during the 1990’s.  The 2000’s showed an unprecedented decline in this number of -13 percent.  The total number of jobs in America, which has climbed every decade in American history (even during the 1930’s), and which grew by 31 percent during the 1960’s and by 20 percent during the 1990’s was flat during the 2000’s:  131 million jobs in 2000; the same in 2009.

Someday our children will read in history books about the Great Recession.  They will discuss sub prime loans and bank bailouts during a backdrop of war on two fronts.  History has shown that when the financial markets suffer severe shocks, it can be years before the system functions smoothly again and resumes its place as the lifeblood of a robust and expanding economy.  While I do not want to dwell on such negative and depressing financial statistics, it does frame our time and the work we must do.

In this great work, we look to many sources for our inspiration and drive.  Sometimes our greatest inspiration comes from the great deeds of our ancestors.  As I have already suggested Abraham Lincoln steered America through the most profound moral crisis in our history and the bloodiest war.  His leadership defined what it meant to be American.

Jaren

It is not by chance America was founded

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 2:53 pm

It is not by chance America was founded by individuals seeking freedom.

During the Ming Dynasty the Chinese built the Forbidden City, one of the wonders of the world.  They had 3,500 ships; this naval fleet was ten times larger than any other country.  They could have discovered and inhabited any land including America but changed course remaining homeward bound.

Christopher Columbus, who was self-taught, almost died, yet never gave up.  Nearing mutiny, Columbus convinced his crew to stay on voyage one more day.  At midnight while sleeping in his cabin he heard a knock on his door.  His thought was, “They have come to kill me;” thinking the crew would throw him overboard.  The knock came again,  he opened the door, to find a crew member standing with a tree branch he found in the water, suggesting land was nearby.

The Jamestown settlers were starved and dying.  After giving up they sailed at the exact time required to bump into their rescuers.  This was under the cover of fog in a large bay headed to the open ocean.  What if they missed their supply ships coming into the harbor?  These people believed in self-government and capitalism.

George Washington surrounded by 20,000 British soldiers was to meet certain death when a storm held the enemy at bay for the night.  A summer fog allowed them to escape the next morning under cover.  What if they had been killed?

The Constitution was crafted at the perfect time.  For example, if it were drafted just one year later, the French revolution could have divided the founding fathers.  This 4,400-word document has survived 220 plus years.

Abraham Lincoln never gave up; if he had, our divided country would have never united, equality would have been denied and the constitution would have failed.  Freedom would have halted across the world.

Those who came to America did so not to strip the land of its natural resources but because the land was free and the settlers wanted to start their own businesses.

Jaren

April 24, 2010

Chapter One Complete

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 10:08 pm

This is the post to give away our first book!!!  Over the next 24 hours, whoever makes a comment of any kind on this post will be put in a random drawing for a signed book and the chance to have a guest appearance at the gathering of their choice.

Thank you to all who have ordered books thus far.  The average order is 4 books not including group orders.  Thx, it means a lot.

Jaren

Chapter Three Finished!!!

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 2:31 pm

Dear friends;

Word of my book is spreading and gaining incredible momentum; for that, I thank you.  It is time for another giveaway.

These are the winners to date of a free signed book:  Adorna Carroll, Ronda Landes, Johanna Palepoi, Micah McAllister, Kim Holmstrom, Nick Galieti, Adam Nash, Cassi Willoughby, Lori Fleming, Neda Talyai, Cami Snyder, Kiera Ethington, Isaiah Kaufusi.  The list will keep growing through the end of editing.

Again post a comment on my blog @ http://bit.ly/Jarensblog, just hit the like button on Facebook, or send me an email to jaren@jlddevelopment.com.  Each place qualifies for a book.  Odds are greatest on blog.

April 23, 2010

Chapter Two Finished!!!

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 7:23 pm

Adorna, Ronda, Johanna, Micah, Kim,  Nick, Adam, Cassi, Lori, Neda and Cami each have won books to date.

This time you can post on here, Facebook or send me an email jaren@jlddevelopment.com

Many have suggested easier access will give more opportunity 🙂

Good luck and thank you, I am excited!!!

While traveling on a plane

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 3:28 pm

I sat next to a beautiful lady on a flight from Salt Lake to Phoenix.  She was in town to participate in her daughter’s wedding.  It was evident she was excited her family had participated in life events together.  We talked about many of the issues facing us today as individuals, parents and as a family.  Our conversation spread over a variety of issues or topics.  We found common bonds in many areas we discussed.

An issue on her mind this day was in regard to one of her relatives; this person was lacking faith.  She claimed this person didn’t believe in a supreme Being, a divine source or whatever you want to call Deity/divine nature.  This lack of faith was due to a dream they had, which was a dream suggesting there is no God.  This fascinated me, thinking an individual’s lack of belief could come as a direct result of a dream.  In my recollection of dreams, whether mine or from others; I have never heard or experienced one resulting in disbelief.

I asked her if this person had ever believed, she wasn’t sure.  I suggested that when her relative became a mother or father they would begin to develop faith.  In my life, having our first child solidified the nature of God in my life.  She commented her relative had a child and this had not changed their beliefs.  Again I was shocked, not really being aware of many individuals, who after becoming a parent, didn’t have some connection to a greater power.

My faith leads me to find satisfaction that all are entitled to individual beliefs or feelings.  I believe, one will be led to greater faith, even knowledge, as their path becomes more in tune with truth.

It fascinates me that regardless of the time or place, we as a human race nearly entirely default to some kind of faith in a divine Being.  Most people describe this Being as their God.  There is a quote from Sir Philip Sidney an English author and soldier, “It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened.”

I find it interesting that when we are passionate in wishing for something, a victory by our favorite team, hearing whether or not we are accepted in college or if we got a job; our natural instinct is to rely on inner faith.  In these times don’t you find yourself intensely reacting to internal emotions?  I find myself almost completely engaged in doing things I feel will ensure my desired outcome.

Could this simple example be enough to suggest we have a compass deep within which naturally defaults to faith in something?  Could it be that since we are not given a pure knowledge, we find answers to these emotions individually; seeking where we are being led.

My last comment to my seat partner was the following:  There are some who have lived on this earth with far greater spiritual manifestations than others.  The Old Testament prophet Moses, who believed, spoke with Deity.  He witnessed the finger of the Lord writing commandments for the people.  Others many never have any outward manifestation at all, yet believe.  Regardless of the intensity of your faith promoting experience, following your heart will lead you to greater understanding.  There are some who have an inclination to believe in others, placing faith in their convictions.  I advised this friend to have her relative find someone they have confidence in.  Seek their understanding and then find faith initially through their experiences.

My belief in a supreme Being or another’s lack of belief shouldn’t detract us from differing views but aid us in finding answers.  I have a friend, a scientist who will only use empirical data to prove a point.  With this he has proven there is a life after death.  He believes as a result of his studies in others experiences.  I, on the other hand, have come to gain faith by following the spirit of my convictions.  There may be some uninterested, others beginning their voyage and others with a sure knowledge.  It doesn’t matter, what matters is that we are aware of each other and help gain knowledge together.

For those lacking faith, not wanting to believe or having conviction there is no Creator at all, please understand; in your time of need, you will default to something inside calling you home.  Some call it source, others an undefined God filling space, some a Personage, others nature and even some creating idols.  This sense is there for everyone, whether out on a remote island with limited contact or in the largest cities in the world.  Find your source, follow it, develop it and become better for it.

Jaren

April 21, 2010

Free Books!!!

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 3:28 pm

My writing anything was initially 100% relief from the stress of the economy.  Writing developed into what I called “My book.”  As I was nearing completion, family members would read parts and enjoy the content.  My thoughts took me to believing it could develop into something enjoyed by more than my immediate family.  As word got out and some of you read pieces, you encouraged me to do more with it, so I have.

I began sharing chapters with friends and asking their opinions.  Nick Galieti, a friend who had written a book himself, suggested strongly that I had something with what I had written.  He is the one who gave me the push over the fence by introducing me to his editor, Dan Hogan.  Dan too felt there was a story needing to be shared with the world.

Not wanting to waste Dan’s time and to gain true perspective from others outside my circle of friends, I pushed it out further.  Now having a viewpoint from a variety of individuals, I have elected to move ahead.  Dan is in editing mode and moving forward.  We have completed the introduction and the first three chapters.  At this pace we will be in print this fall.

Thank you:  To those of you who have helped thus far, I am giving you a book.  Adorna Carroll was the first person to publish as a link on facebook something about my book.  Ronda Landes was the first to post on my blog.  Johanna Palepoi was the first person to place a link to my blog on her website.  Micah McAllister, you were the first to subscribe to my blog.  Kim Holmstrom, you were the first outside my family to suggest the book had value.  Nick Galieti, it would have never happened without you.  Adorna, Ronda, Johanna, Micah, Kim, and Nick, for these gestures, I will hand deliver and sign a book as a gift to each of you.

Contest: For every chapter we finish, I will give someone a book.  Right now I owe four books, one for the introduction and three for the finished chapters.  I randomly selected from those who posted on “My first look @ book.”  Adam Nash is the winner of this book.

From this point on, whenever we finish a chapter, I will post on my blog a notice: Chapter One Finished, Chapter Two Finished, etc.  There are currently twenty-two chapters, plus or minus.  When I create the post, go to my site and make a comment.  I will wait for twenty-four hours and then gather the names (if you subscribe by email you will be alerted to the posting).  With the names generated I will use an excel spreadsheet (I am a finance nerd) to randomize the list.  The person on top of the randomized list wins the book.  If you are the only one to post, you win.  If no one posts, I will give that book to a library or charity.  At the end of the book, I will then pick from the winners a grand winner (again randomly selected).  For this person, I will travel to their home (regardless of where it is) and speak about the book in person.  This can be one on one, to a book club, a church group, or any gathering they want.

Getting word out:  I will give a book to every person who creates a link to my blog from their website. This will move traffic and help me get the word out.

Ordering books: There are many who have asked about ordering books.  These inquires have come from all over the country and as far away as Australia, Germany and Africa.  If you want a book personally or books for a group, just send me an email to jaren@jlddevelopment.com.  All I need for now is your name and email.  Giving me your home town would be fun–we can then see where you live to get an idea of how word is spreading.  On each of these orders, I will sign each book before it is delivered.  Later I will think of some give away or special pricing to those who order before we know details on dates or value.

Know how exciting it is to be able to share something which is meaningful to me.  My joy will come from hearing the words made a difference to someone.

Subscribe, wait, watch, and we will have some fun.  Thank you!!!

Jaren

April 20, 2010

Sorry, what did you say?

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 2:38 pm

Have you ever stopped to think how important support systems are for your well-being?  Perhaps your greatest asset, one which is naturally placed highest on a list, is human interaction.  I intentionally define this broadly as it is all who surround us that are important.  Human interaction; whether in our deepest, longest lasting relationships or with the person we just met on the elevator are all important and invaluable.  Everyone has value to add, if we but just listen.  Profound, sincere listening opens doors to our understanding.  Greater perception builds knowledge which then allows us to develop.

We already know what we already know.  While this is a trite statement, think how valuable our understanding of this principle would be in our lives, if we knew what it really meant.  No matter how much information you regurgitate in sharing your words and ideas to others; it all comes from what you know.  Granted you may develop a different understanding by verbalizing but all you are doing is reorganizing stored input existing in your mind.

To really gain wisdom, knowledge, understanding, feeling or whatever you want to call it; we need to listen to others.  Listening is a skill; one we can improve on daily.  Active listening in relationships not only increases our life’s experiences, it builds relationships as well.  Think of those you enjoy being around, aren’t they the ones who really listen to what it is you have to say?

To be the best listener, one you would want to have pay attention to you; do some of the following.

Block out anything that may either disrupt you or give those you are with the feeling you are distracted.  Even if those you are communicating with suggest your distractions don’t matter, they do.  We have an innate ability to read our surroundings and subconsciously react to what is perceived.  Little things are noticed by our observers.  Know distractions detract, compensate by over emphasizing your complete attention to what is being said.

Have you ever been on a phone call where you were asked, “Are you there?”  This reaction is asking for validation you are listening.  What is to be learned is how important our clarifying that we are listening is in communication.  I lived in Australia; Australians have a custom of breathing in deeply every so often while listening during communication.  This is evidence to those communicating that they are engaged.  Our take away is that we must stay active without interfering.  This can be done with an occasional verbal acknowledgement such as: your right that is amazing, you have got to be kidding me or even a simple Hu ah (heard acknowledged and understood).

When in communication, how often are we thinking of what we are going to say next?  Are we even slightly distracted by internal feelings brought to conversation.  To be effective in getting the intended message from others; we need to turn off the outside world.  As we begin conversation, turn off all other thoughts.  These feelings can actually take away from what it is we need to learn.  If we bring our own ideas to conversation, our biases to what is being said will influence us.  To feel where another is coming from, we need to listen without preconceived ideas or thoughts.  Never have in mind, what it is we are desirous of saying, until we are asked a question.  Delaying with an answer or response will not be taken wrong at all; it validates or intensity in listening.

Don’t interrupt or try to take the conversation where you want ideas to go.  We all know how frustrating it is to get a message out when the other is occupied by their own agenda.  If there is a distraction, a phone call or someone coming into our space; stay engaged.  If it is important enough for the other party to butt in, they will.

Listen from the very beginning with observation of body language and facial movements.  Don’t try to figure out what is going to be said, the slowest thinkers are thinking faster than the fastest talkers.  Let your mind take in the entire communication using all your senses.  Take notes if the details are to be remembered.  This act is very exciting to someone speaking as it suggests a point made has value.

Understand that while you are observing a communicator intensely; they are watching you as well.  Have a posture of interest, lean toward them, look into their eyes and give appropriate facial expressions.

Finally, if you don’t understand what was said, ask for clarification.  This may require restating what you understood, this validates your interest.  If the points being made are emotional, make comments such as, “I see how you feel or that makes sense.”  If it is new information say something such as, “That is interesting or so what you are saying…”

With learning and developing some of these ideas in communication, many will gravitate to wanting to be with you.  As your relationships grow and others feel comfort in sharing with you, your knowledge will expand.  Our greatest minds, best inventions and happiest life’s lived come from learning from others.  We can’t learn if we are not listening!

Jaren

April 15, 2010

Life together, is where you want to be

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 5:36 pm

Life is a precious gift, one often taken for granted.  I believe a lonely heart dies.  If our truest inner desire is to feel the joy happiness life brings in living, let me suggest a truth I feel is a necessary ingredient of living a life worthwhile.

How many have heard the statement, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?”

For a tree to be large enough to make a noise in any forest, it needs to be quite large.  A large tree typically is many years old, often 100’s of years.  During the lifetime of a tree, it has seen some pretty interesting years.  Its beginning could have been one of being the first in the area, having a bird or small animal carry its seed to fertile soil.  When this seed finally received the required nutrients, it sent out roots, taking hold to whatever ground lay beneath.

The first years of some trees existence must be pretty tough as just about anything could stamp out its living.  Winters, for trees in high forests, would completely cover this new tree with snow.  The snow depth would be much higher than its height. Think of beginning a new life and spending six months covered in snow.  As the tree grows, it too would face having something knocking over, stepping on it, or pulling off it branches in these new growth years. Hardships wouldn’t end after the tree grows.  Even with its size finally large enough to compete with smaller challenges, it now may face years of draught, fires, and even insects during its life.  But after all this, if it is fortunate enough to have lived, seeing many seasons and reaching heights never thought of; it lived a full life.

Let’s assume a tree’s final glory is to go out with a bang.  Now we are back to, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise.”  If the answer is no, it was robbed of the crescendo of years of living.  No one was there to partake in the life of these years of service to the forest, an incredible shame.

Let’s move to a new story.  Have you ever driven down a beautiful highway, witnessing some outrageous scenery and then you see the most amazing sunset you have ever seen?  The sky is full of every color in the rainbow.  The clouds are billowing, puffing out their chests showing off silver lining and the majesty of angels.  The sun is brilliant expressing its glow, lighting everything around you.  The mountain range is waiting, ready to take the resting day, standing tall showing its peaks, valleys, snow caps, vegetation, and animals.  The rivers are flowing at maximum capacity, showing off flickering sparkles of glow as sunlight splashes off its rocks.  You are spellbound, nearly breathless, thanking your creator for the beauty of nature; then you turn making a comment to a friend, “Can you believe this!”  You find you are alone, with no one there you to share in this glory. Your heart sinks as you are intensely aware how great life’s experiences are sharing them with others.

Would this sunset be lost if no one is there to see it? All the individual parts which make up the necessary ingredients of any of natures expressions have taken years to create and don’t come by everyday.  Think of putting together all the components of this sunset to have no one there to see.

Life is continually full of once in a lifetime moments such as having a child, hitting a grand slam, marriage, summiting a peak, being there for a friend and even finishing a life well lived.  Just as the feeling we get when we see something truly unusual, if we don’t have someone there to share it with, it isn’t the same.

What do we do to surround ourselves in life’s events with meaningful friends and relationships, so we aren’t left wondering if anyone heard our fall our or saw our sunset?

We need to understand how others want to be treated.  I find myself gravitating to those who accept me for who I am and have my interest at heart.  When someone is fair with me; they gain my love and loyalty.  To achieve others devotion, we need to understand how we treat others is a direct reflection on us.  The better we get at treating others to their liking, the deeper our life experiences become.

Funny thing is, as we do this, we become intensely aware of others music and glory; giving us more to participate in personally.  The world will never run out of resources, our individual resources grow as we give ourselves away.  The more we treat others well, the better we are treated and this relationship grows exponentially.

There will be times in life we are alone; we may even self-elect this option occasionally which is fine.  Moments of solitude grant us time to reflect.

Life however calls out for involvement with others, participating with us in life’s journeys.  Think of our story about witnessing the sunset finding ourselves alone.  Witness that same glory manifest in our life with a loved one present.  Now turn to share; the experience is entirely different.  We are fulfilled with joy with others participating.  They see things a little differently and point out things we may have missed.  Perhaps it will not be us who is first to see new events, others will bring additional understanding in our lives.  What alone we would have never experienced, now is exposed, glorified and becomes apart of us as we share together.  Our heart grows with admiration, enabling its love to expand and spread to others.  Each person we touch now is changed, our abundance becomes our being.

This may be a very simple example of a basic principle, however only a few will find it in time to fully use its resource.  Our job is to find in life the things which make our living worthwhile.  I argue spending time with others and building life long relationships imperative.  In my years on this planet, I have felt through life’s journey; the value in being with others.  Live a life worth living, one others will only dream of; surround yourself with loved ones, people of every kind.

Don’t fall where no one will hear you or shine where no one will see.

Jaren

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